Rocket Languages Blog Recent Members Area Changes

Recent Members Area Changes


Bonjour tout le monde !

As part of our philosophy to provide the most effective language courses that we can, we are always looking at different elements of the learning experience and trying to improve them. A lot of the time these are relatively small things that members may not pick up, like page load speed, and improved voice recognition algorithms.

However, recently we have implemented a few significant changes that I think are worth describing in more detail. 

Rocket Chinese Level 1

When Level 1 of Rocket Chinese was originally done (many years ago!), one of our narrators was a fluent yet non-native speaker of Mandarin. To make the learning experience better we re-recorded and replaced the non-native Mandarin spoken with a native speaker throughout the Interactive Audio lessons and corresponding transcripts of the main conversations.

Rocket Japanese Level 1

We are most of the way through a similar process with Rocket Japanese Level 1. Currently the conversation transcripts have had a native male Japanese speaker added.

Early in the New Year we will have all Japanese Interactive Audio lessons updated to include audio performed by a native speaker.

Layout and Getting started

You may have noticed that the members area looks a little different! A couple of weeks ago we improved the process for new users in particular, and made how things work more consistent.

There are a lot more changes to come over the next couple of months as we take a step back and look at the overall user experience and interface.

Points system

The purpose of the points system is to reward members for using the different elements of the course. However, after listening to feedback from members and taking a close look at just how points are being accumulated it appears that some people are trying to game the system. Of course for the majority of people this would seem weird since gaming the system is only cheating themselves (and wasting a lot of their time by the looks of it!).

So, we have put in place a few things to more appropriately reward users for using the parts of the course that more directly lead to actually learning the language, and at the same time making it harder to accumulate points in a nonsensical way.

Here are the major points changes;
  • Play Rocket Record audio = 1 point (currently 2 points)
  • Record using Rocket Record = 3 points (currently 2 points)
  • Complete Play it! (either person) = 25 points
  • Rate a FlashCard = 1 point (currently 2 points)
  • Answer any question in the Forum = 100 per answer (currently 50 points)
  • Ask a question in the Forum = 100 per thread (currently 50 points)
We have also made it so that points for using Rocket Record can only be gained once the audio has fully played, or the voice recognition recording has fully finished.

There are a few more subtle changes coming as we balance gaining points versus learning efficacy.

The future

As I mentioned, we are continuously looking at ways to fulfil our aspiration and make the learning experience as effective as possible. To that end we will be working on a major app upgrade starting early next year, which should add in a lot more of the current desktop functionality to the app.

All the best with your language learning!

Jason Oxenham
Rocket Languages

nóng fū

My Vocabulary has been broken for approximately one week now.  No longer are the vocabulary words being highlighted in the lesson text and this feature has been very useful in studying Chinese.  Perhaps, this is an unintentional feature of the other RC changes.

I also have a comment and suggestion regarding the point system.  from my perspective, the root problem with the system is that all users have their personal point information made public and are competitively ranked  without their permission.  My suggestion is to re-instate the initial point system while allowing users to make their data private.  Those who want to compete for points would leave their data in the public domain.  Changing the point allocation only creates another variant of the previous system while disrupting the metric value of the historical personal data.


Hi Nóng fū  - The My Vocab bug is fixed. Yes, an unintentional result of some changes! Sorry about that.

I really like your suggestion to be able to give members the ability to anonymize their points data. I will add that suggestion to the course development wishlist!

However, while we may further tweak the system, we won't be changing the points back to the old way. As stated above, the rationale (for those that are interested in points) is to do the parts of the course that will aid language acquisition the most. 


Few thanks for fixing


Thanks for fixing. After trying it our for a day the changes are much better and it feels more motivating to do the sections again and again.

I think ultimately most people were doing the course properly, others were as well and on top of their days study they were probably cheating for points by blitzing flashcards trying to one up the next person.

With this new system people who actually do the modules and course will be rewarded with more points in a shorter amount of time than those who attempt to cheat with flashcards again which will take longer to accumulate points. 

I am glad the Japanese course is being worked on. Removing that awkward name Kenny Squire from the lessons would go even further as it is impossible to pronounce a name like that in Japanese and score 100% accuracy on rocket record. It is just not a compatible name with the Japanese language.


I think doubling the points for forum posts was a good move, the forum is very underused at least in German.
There seems to be very little appetite for German conversation, maybe this will encourage it.


Hi Tony - Yes, Kenny Squire was around before voice recognition came along!

Hi sfpugh - We have a few other things in the works to make the forum work a little better than it currently does. Watch this space...


Since you mentioned the Japanese changes I have since gone back to last sections of Level 1 and found the changes to be perfect. Many of the incompatible audio and names have been removed.


The ability to quickly interrupt an audio or recording in Rocket German was sorted an update or two ago and is very useful. It was a good idea to restrict the points to completed plays or recordings so you don't skew the points by repeating something  that you needed to hear again or when you realise that you have messed the pronunciation up and need to start again. 


I have noticed that when I have completed a lesson and advance to the next session the program now forgets where i have left off . The next day I am returned  to the original lesson .I am now working on lessons 2 or 3 past the one the program tells me I should be on.  Prior to the upgrade there were no problems in this area. I have found this on both languages I am studying. Has anyone else encountered this?


I have not noticed the above.

However I do have a suggestion of what might be beneficial to all.

As soon as we complete modules in Level 1 to 3 and have all the scores green with top marks. I think there should be a timer that gradually resets the completed modules and indicates they are stale and need refreshing.

For example you complete the module on round one and get all good results. In 3 days time the green changes to yellow meaning you need to refresh it. For the second round it lasts 7 days and third round it lasts 30 days before you have to refresh it. It will keep people going back to old subjects with lessons we may have forgotten.


Hi Alan - Ah yes, the issue is now fixed!

Hi Tony - I will add that to the product development wishlist as something to be considered!


Thanks a lot. I think revision is very important and seeing prompts to revise might help. There is a lot in Level 3 and 2 of my course that I have to keep revising because there are some parts I keep forgetting.


Since a "product development wishlist" was mentioned, I'd like to throw out two suggestions:

1. A view of the specific forum threads I'm participating in or have favoritred  favorited in one place.
2. A way to add info to "My Notes" outside of a module.



The problem I was having is still there with RC and RS Travelogue


Hi Alan - It works for me. If you play or record any Rocket Record instance then it displays that lesson on the Dashboard. Perhaps try logging out and logging back in again.

Hi 夫婦茶碗 - I will add those suggestions!


It works this morning without my doing anything on my part.



That is a very interesting point indeed about the apparent lack of appetite for German conversation on the forums. In my case it is because even after seven excruciating years of  German study I have absolutely no faith in my ability to write reasonably grammatical sentences other than those that I know by heart. Any attempt to do so is pointless unless the correction helps me understand why I make mistakes and how I can avoid making them in the future. At the heart of my particular problem is a complete failure to grasp what cases are about (victim of the verb - really?) but I am sure that other learners have their own pesonal bugbears.

On the positive side Rocket German has certainly improved my pronunciation and comprehension to the point where I can function perfectly well in Germany on a day to day basis and I can understand most of what goes on around me. Even my reading isn't too bad now, although my limited vocabulary often comes back to haunt me. 


I really hope more people will use the Forums as well.  It's good to have people interested and talking about the same area you are working on.  We can get questions answered and share experiences.


I think a lot of people feel the same as you, I know I do. It is hard to break the ice and be prepared to make mistakes in writing.
It should be possible to have  simple conversations about the weather, were you live, family etc. may be our new German tutor would help out occasionally.



I hope more people do start using the forums. It is helpful with information sharing. I tried when I first started and there were not many replies.

Also with creating flashcard sets at 100 point a set maybe people will start contributing their own information. If only we could add .wav audio to the sets we create.

As I said the changes are great. There are new names on the leader board that were never there before. There are still the all user names lurking at the top that have not changed whose points were always questionable. I know which member complained about the point cheaters which enabled these changes as I can see who started it in the Japanese forum. They have no longer replied to threads since the changes.

At least the "play it" section has the points bonanza where it also encourages people to go back and do revision of all the conversations and say it into the microphone. Just by doing that is enough to give you more points within the hour than flipping flashcards.


I hope the Forum really takes off.  The site I work on for Kanji has a very active Forum community, and it is helpful.  They talk about all kinds of things related to Japanese and answer all kinds of questions.  There is also lots of fun items to do with Japan in general.  So I hope this Forum gets more active.


❀ Another one for the suggestion box: a "page tutor" button for threads.  ❀


I am not sure if this related to the recent changes as I am a new member. I found through google great resources here : However, annoyingly, the log in popup keeps showing, and once I log in, I have no access to that url any more. Any plans to add the link to the members area?


There is a similar page for Japanese:

Aren't the information and examples presented contained in the modules in greater detail? 

Changing topics:
I am curious about the points for Rocket Record. Above jason-oxenham-ceo wrote, "Record using Rocket Record = 3 points", but I notice I only get one point when I try to use record. (I use an external, battery powered microphone and Firefox if that makes a difference.)


log out and log in again to refresh the browser and try using a PC instead of smartphone for full points on record.


I always access Rocket through my PC, but logging out and clearing my cache and history didn't help the problem. Actually…it's worse now. ┐( ̄ヘ ̄)┌

There's definitely a technical issue, but I don't know where it is. I'm using the same browser and hardware (battery powered, wired microphone) that previously allowed me to record clearly, and aside from adding 1pt instead of 3pt, it was fine. Now I rarely get a clear recording (there are crackles and pops) and no points. I can work around it, but I do miss practicing conversations in real time.


Have you tried using the Chrome browser instead of Tirefox?
On getting clear recordings, If you are using Norton internet security, I have had problems with Norton Safeweb interfering with recordings. I have to disable it to get a clear recording.

On microphones, the very best results I have had are with  Microsoft LX3000 USB head set. I have also used a Logitec USB headset that was reasonable but stopped working after about a year, then I tried a lapel microphone in the PC mic socket which also worked reasonably. But by far the best for speech recognition and clarity of recording was the Microsoft headset. (I am using Windows 7).


I knew when I purchased Rocket Japanese that my choice of Firefox would mean a slight loss of Rocket interface functionality. What I cannot figure out is why something that was working (mostly) in Firefox previously, has stopped working altogether. I'm running Windows 10 and Firefox is up-to-date. I don't use Norton, so that's not the issue.

I don't have or want Chrome.



I can understand you not wanting Chrome :-)

I tried Firefox and I found that:
It plays the tutors phrase OK and scores 1 point for that.
It records speech and plays it back OK.
It does not score any points for recording nor does it give a percentage accuracy.

I was frequently told that not all features would work and that I should try Chrome.

I guess it comes down to much you value the features that don't work against your dislike of Chrome.
I gave in and installed it.

On the change in behaviour, maybe Firefox updated? You could try contacting customer service.


I have Firefox set to "ask" when it wants to perform updates, but you never can tell… I would not be at all surprised to learn software is constantly performing tweaks when it connects to the internet.

I believe I may have my recording capability back now (it involved going into audio settings and disabling stuff). The "Rocket Record Difficulty" remains grayed out in Firefox, but I don't mind as I'm confident about my pronunciation. Even the points are not that important to me, as long as I can do the "practice conversation" exercises. That's the closest I get to having a conversation in Japanese with a live person.

As for Chrome, let me put it this way: hopefully Rocket will work on compatibility with Firefox going forward. (^^)b


Hi 夫婦茶碗 - Sorry about the delayed response! 

Re the points for Rocket Record; Points are given for using the voice recognition, which Firefox does not currently support. Right now the voice recognition tool works on Chrome and the various apps. We will be activating it on Safari soon. 

Firefox has been promising voice recognition technology for a couple of years now but nothing has happened. So, until they enable the tech, there is nothing we can do.

In the meantime, we will soon add in the 3 points/record in Firefox.


I think it is time to revamp the whole thing again. Clearly the changes have not stopped people cheating and gaming the system with an unreasonable amount of points in a 24 hour and monthly period. It is always the same names doing it so it is not hard to figure out.  ron-antibes must love cheating so much that he could not possibly know a single word of French, Joe-C4 another classic cheater, not just satisfied with one language, this loser must cheat in Spanish and Italian, it must be such a thrill to not know much about a language but have your name at the top of the leader board each day then there is igneczy another cheater who is only content to have their name at the top of the Japanese board that they are aiming for a clean sweep of the board. Its quite sad and pathetic really. This kind of cheating only stirs up angst and agitation with other members. People want to be rewarded for study, set goals. It is making it hard to set goals and beat your record or get motivated when the same losers are gaming the system each day to cheat on points. Seriously something really needs to be done to shut these people down from achieving their aim of cleaning the whole leader board up with their names.

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